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19 January 2014

7 Signs You Need A Healthy Dose of Sales Medicine

 

You can have a great Idea. You can have a great Product. You can Be the Best at what you do . . . but if you can’t effectively translate your Value to another person or business and Sell it to them . . . That’s a tough pill to swallow.

Selling is all at once the most Complex, the most Vital and the most Difficult Activity in most every business. Selling is ProActive. Selling is bringing solutions to problems. Selling is Creating Relationships through Value Delivery. Selling is a Strategic Plan Executed to generate revenue and bring it into your business.

Selling is also hard. It requires organization, planning, structure, means, metrics and measurement and the ability to lead and direct those efforts.

Building and Leading a Sales Program is not easy and is not for everyone.

Here are 7 Symptoms that Indicate You Need Help in Sales:

There’s no clear Sales Process –

Do you improvise on every sale? Do you scramble to figure out what next steps might be if someone shows interest, or asks for a proposal, or has objections to price? A consistent, documented sales process makes you more efficient and helps you leverage your own best practices to close more business. A comprehensive Sales Program can combine the unique elements of your business with strengths and resources to confidently and consistently build revenue.

You have no visibility –

I asked a new General Manager how her Sales Team documented and tracked their prospects’ sales process. She produced a 3 ring binder used by one of her sales staff for notes and client information. And that was the advanced version. The simple truth is that tracking potential business and the sales cycle of your prospects converts more leads into sales, gives you more accurate forecasting and visibility into conversion rates. And if you’re not forecasting and tracking conversions, THAT’S really important too. Which tools you use, how and when you use them, are all part of a solid Sales Program.

You use the same message for every prospect –

Despite our desire for it to be true, not every one needs our product or needs it right now. Some leads are not ready to be harvested now; others are on fire and need attention immediately. Cultivating prospects to turn them into customers takes discipline and discernment. Timing and message strategies need to be considered to engage, nurture and convert prospects into customers.

You’re waiting for the phone to ring –

Sales is about positioning yourself for success. That means taking a proactive approach. Prospecting, calling, reaching out, networking, leveraging referrals—these are all pieces of the Selling Mix that your Sales Program needs to incorporate to keep a Pipeline full, revenue stream flowing and to build a scalable sales program.

You’re losing deals to a sneaky competitor: Apathy –

One of my biggest competitors in any industry has always been, The Status Quo. Many deals are lost -—not to competitors, but to prospects who are never moved to make a change. If you lose a deal to apathy, you may have failed to build more value than the prospect’s status quo. Equipping your sales team with the right mix of quantitative data, economic influence and value delivery will increase your chances of disrupting current culture and increasing conversion rates.

You get nervous before every sales call or presentation –

There’s nothing wrong with being nervous about a big meeting. But if you’re nervous before EVERY sales presentation, it likely means you’re not confident in what you’re about to say, the value your product or service provides, or your ability to translate your value to what the customer needs and wants. The right Sales Process with the right Sales Person will shut out nerves as a factor for closing deals.

Your sales pitch starts and ends with you –

It is important that customers Know, Like and Trust you, but let’s be clear, it’s NOT ABOUT YOU. The customer doesn’t care about you, they care about results. If you’re losing customers – especially during the presentation phase of your pitch, you might not be connecting the results to their values. And, by the way, Value is Subjective, so you need to thoroughly understand what arrows have in the quiver of your Sales Strategy to pull our and shoot for this prospect.
There is much to be done to build an effective Sales Program—incorporating sales processes, strategy, means, metrics, measurement and coaching. When you’re sick, you see a doctor. When you’re not achieving your goals, you hire a coach. If one or more of these strike a chord with you, consider reaching out for help.

And giving credit where credit’s due: Thanks to Heinz Marketing for contributing to the inspiration and content for this blog.

Until next time, keep kickin’ butt!
—sks

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